We have all gone BANANAS over this new take on a nautical wedding. Seen through the lens of Jonathan Hanson for Readyluck, we’re loving the classic wedding mixed with the perfect blend of seafaring deets to make it more than worthy of it’s waterside locale. Something totally new for this water-loving blogger to obsess over. Join me in the gallery and help me obsess, will you?

After eleven months of bliss Marc and I decided to go on vacation to my favorite vacation spot growing up – Hawaii. On the second day of our trip Marc told me he had booked a photographer to take professional photos to satisfy my mom who was always complaining that she didn’t have any (I hate taking pictures!). We went down to the beach to meet with the photographer and had a blast being silly and posing for forty five minutes. When we were done the photographer said goodbye and Marc escorted me to a private hut on the beach. There were yellow rose petals on the sand leading to the dinner table set for two. There were menus with our names on them with all of my favorite foods listed. As soon as we were fully in the hut Marc got down on one knee and tried to recite something he had written earlier but ended up getting out the words “will you marry me.” We both were crying with joy and embraced for what felt like a few hours but in reality was only a few minutes. The photographer returned to our watery faces for some shots after the monumental moment. We then enjoyed a delicious private feast on the beach in Kauai! At the end of the evening we returned to our hotel room covered in roses and on the bed roses in the shape of a huge heart.

Marc and I immediately bonded over our love of food. Marc graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and owns and runs his own catering company. Marc spends his time planning and executing other people’s parties. He was so excited to finally be able to plan his own!

We had a vision of getting married by the water – we find the water to have a very calming and romantic presence. I have lived on the upper west side of Manhattan for the last five years and loved sunny days eating and drinking at the boat basin on 79th Street. After ruling out a few places due to number constraints and overall feel I walked Marc over to the Boat Basin thinking it could be a great venue for us if his company would be allowed to cater there. As luck would have it they allowed him to cater and the date they had available was perfect for us!

In five months we were able to put it all together and our reality wedding was better than all of my dreams. It was an amazingly sunny, 62 degree day in the midst of fall in NYC. Marc and I didn’t do the big wedding party – as it was too much of a hassle and we didn’t want to tell our most loved ones what they could and couldn’t wear. His brother was his best man and my best friend was by my side all day and night. Our attire on the invitations read “Cocktail wear with a nautical flare” Our vision was since this was a boat basin it should have a nautical feel. My maid of honor wore red, while my mother wore navy. We had a life ring made with our names and the date for people to pose with as they entered the ceremony to give it a feel of a forced cruise entrance photo.

The food was really at the heart of the party. We were very focused on having fun delicious food that everyone could enjoy. Our cocktail hour included a raw bar as well as passed micro lobster rolls, kobe beef sliders, mini fish tacos, tuna ceviche, pecking duck crepes, Panko chicken frites, and Vietnamese summer rolls. We had two signature drinks passed which were the drinks we enjoyed on our first date – dark and stormy and mojitos. Our meal at dinner was served family style since we really wanted everyone to be able to try everything and experience an interactive dining experience. Each table was served two different salads as an appetizer. For the main course we chose braised beef short ribs with macaroni and cheese and glazed heirloom carrots as well as seared ahi tuna with Himalayan red rice over a roasted wild mushrooms and endamame.

Dessert was very important to me – as my sweet tooth is very well known by everyone who has ever met me! My favorite cookies were layered rainbow cookies. I asked Marc if we could make a cake out of these cookies and before I knew it we had ordered two sheet trays of the cake, then cut them into cookie bites, layered them to resemble a cake and vwhala! Our cake cutting was so fun! Marc took a cookie off the pile and we shared our first one. Immediately following was a free for all of everyone just taking a cookie off the pile that resembled a cake. They were so moist and delicious – the best rainbow cookies I have ever tasted! We had a dessert table filled with all of my other favorites: micro ice cream sandwiches, banana pudding, lemon glazed cake doughnuts, peanut butter mouse pretzel cups, pistachio, chocolate orange, and almond biscotti’s, and assorted fruit.

The ceremony took place under a Chuppah that has been in Marc’s family for over 100 years. It was from Marc’s Great, Great Grandmother who started her own temple in Montreal. Music was very important to us as well. The song we exited the ceremony to was hakuna matata from the lion king. Our first dance was to our favorite song “give into me” sung as a duet.

The wedding day as a whole was point blank the best day of our lives. A very vivid memory is Marc and I getting ready. We both got ready in our apartment with Dori, the maid of honor. Dori had the job of keeping us separated so that we would not see each other before the grand reveal for the cameras. While Dori was helping Marc with his bowtie in the other room I was standing nervously alone in the dining room. All of a sudden Marc screamed “Erica” to which I replied “Yes?” – then he said “I love you.” In that moment my anxiety and fear disappeared and I became overwhelmed with joy with the reminder of what this day was about; committing to spend the rest of our lives as best friends together forever.

Photographer: Jonathan Hanson, ReadyLuck / Videographer: Bruce Cullen / Floral Designer: Banchet Jaigla of Banchet Flowers / Event Design & Planning: On The Marc Events & The Spark Group / Makeup: Jackie Gomez / Caterer: On The Marc Events / Cake & Desserts: On The Marc Events / Wedding Gown Designer: Monique Lhuillier / Band: Marianne Bennett / Venue: The West 79th Street Boat Basin Café

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